Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ten Worst

While we're at it, perhaps we should now note our ten worst films--a task much harder than it seems. To qualify, these have to be movies you actually saw from beginning to end (or at least really attempted to), ideally in a theater where the thought of having flushed good money down the toilet makes the experience especially unnerving.

In no particular order:

Congo - Having a device that allows a gorilla to communicate in English does not suddenly make the gorilla act or think like a normal human being. That and the scene where the "gorilla" is strapped to a parachutist. I saw this one in a theater.

Cannonball Run II - I genuinely enjoyed the first one. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the sequel, which included the separately taped segment with Frank Sinatra and the montage to the music of ... Menudo.

Problem Child - If the aim of this movie (or its sequels) was to have me wish ill towards the kid, it worked. I don't care why he's a lousy brat. I used to confuse Problem Child with Child's Play. Difference is, I'd welcome the doll to my home any day.

Out on a Limb - Who knows what Matthew Broderick saw in the script. The leading lady is rather unappealing. Couldn't even tell you about the plot. Simply a horrible film.

Little Buddha - At one point, Keanu Reeves, playing Siddhartha, is sporting a bouffant.

Hercules - It starred Lou Ferrigno. I saw it in the theater. I was only ten. I didn't know! I was just a child!

Those were just six and I am wiped out. Galley friend Mike Woody lists Caddy Shack II, She Devil (starring Roseanne Barr), Casualties of War, Ishtar, and "anything with Jean-Claude Van Damme except Bloodsport. That was rich."

Finally, in terms of great disappointments, no doubt I would have to place The Godfather Part III on top.


Bill Walsh said...


You omit Highlander II only because you're afraid to admit you saw it. As am I.

Oh, the shame.


Anonymous said...

I think A.I. was the very worst movie I've ever seen - it was so bad and yet thought that it was so good.

Anonymous said...

I with Bill Simmons the Sports Guy...

Rocky V never happened, I don't care if my wallet said I spent $6.00 to go see it.... IT NEVER HAPPENED

oh but Wild Amazon Women on the Moon? Defitnitly happened


Anonymous said...

Didn't see it in the theatre, but I did pay to rent it. The worst movie I've ever spent money on is Kenneth Branagh's musical version of Love's Labour's Lost. Sat there with my mouth open through probably 90% of it.

kwAwk said...

I would definitely add The Postman to the list. We have armageddin and the only surviving organization is the US Post Office? Someone was smoking crack. Tin Cup, Message in a Bottle. Okay, my list comprises most all Kevin Costner after Bull Durham.

Robotz was another of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Hitch. I wanted to claw my eyes out. No, it wasn't my choice.

TopCat said...

The Warriors -- a bunch of street thugs break out of Vidal Sassoon's salon and fight it out on the subway.

Hudson Hawk -- I can't talk about it still.

The James Bond films with Timothy Dalton.

Donny said...

The Avengers (1998)
Secret Window (2004)
Superman IV (1987)

Jenny said...

Showgirls, baby.

It's unbelievably horrible, but I stay on it every time I catch it whilst channel surfing.

The reason I do might stem from my crush on Gina Gershon.

Aaron said...

Dude. Holy Man with Eddie Murphy and Jeff Goldblum. Also, Van Helsing.

Anonymous said...

Any man who thinks the warriors is a bad movie must turn in his testicles and watch the PBS Pride and Prejudice 15 times in a row wiht no alcohol. Worst movies seen in a theatre, Highlander 4; Elizabeth(they dont' tell you there is no Spanish Armada and the Protestant maniac is some kind of religious freedom icon); The Nightporter-Nazi bell boy meets old camp girl and they have a sado masochistic relationship. This was sold to me as a murder mystery when I was 17 by an idiot whose initials are S.C. The worst movie in general release of all time. I would watch Batman and Robin 5 times in a row before I would look at a promotional poster of this movie.

Anonymous said...

Meet the Parents. Stiller is the most overrated hack in the world. This kind of slapstick makes the Three Stooges seem subtle.

Anonymous said...

Transylvania 65000 (with Jeff Goldblum), The American President (the sterotype portrayal of the evil republican candidate badgering the intelligent, above-the-fray Democrat incumbent). Anything I've ever seen with Chuck Norris, TimeCop with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, Last Action Hero with Arnold and most recently Must Love Dogs with John Cusack,... simply wretched.

TopCat said...

I'll bet the guy who loved The Warriors is also devoted to Adam Sandler's ouvre as deeply compelling, especially the touching remake of The Longest Yard. As Vinnie said in The Warriors, "Da Future, We are Da Future!!!!"

Anonymous said...

You've got to distinguish between campy-bad, whcih can be entertaining (like the Warriors) and serious-bad, which is brutal, and which I think we are taling about here. To be a truly bad movie, you had to have thought you were making a good, even profound, movie and failed miserably, usually as a result of scene chewing over-acting or extreme heavy-handedness in the message-sending dep't. That's why even though I agree with the likes of Caddyshack II, Look Who's talking Now etc..., it is sort of pointless to include those movies.

Examples I can think of that I have seen recently on cable:

Pay it Forward
battlefield earth (may be campy bad, close call, but travolta was big whent his was made, so it probably was meant to be taken seriously)
Gangs of New York
Artificial Intelligence

Anonymous said...

Shadow Of The Vampire
I Heart Huckabees
The Life Aquatic

The life being exeptionally disappointing because the Royal Tennanbaum's was so gosh-darn good.

Anonymous said...

No "Get Carter?" When promoting the film, Stallone said it was his best work since Rocky. Terrible dialogue, convoluted plot, tons of arty camera angles, and not bad enough to be even accidentally funny (like, e.g., Judge Dredd).

Anonymous said...

Oh, in addition to "Get Carter," you should think about "Daredevil." A wretched film, and perhaps the only movie I've seen with a flirt fight. Best line of the movie (during the flirt fight, of course): "You're holding back. Don't." I'd rather rub sh*t in my hair than watch that movie again.

Bizarro Jack said...

1) Last Man Standing
5 hours of Bruce willis standing around, periodically shooting someone, showing his ass, taking a bath, failing to communicate with some woman. All this boringness packed into 90 minutes. Roughly equivalent to waterboarding.
2) Dungeons and Dragons
I have to wonder if Jeremy Irons was trying to get fired or something. There was nothing entertaining in this movie, but staying in the theater wth my eyes closed did rate barely more fun than standing in the cold waiting for my ride to come out.
3) The Who's Tommy
I confess, I only saw this on dvd, but I think it still counts. This story was co-written by Mad Libs. As for the performances, well, it's no Riverdance ;) Who couldn't feel touched by a story about a hang gliding blind/not blind pin ball playing cult leader who was abused by his parents and then made up with them with absolutely no explanation? There were about 5 non-consecutive minutes of camp-badness that pushed this from #1 to #3 spot, but don't get me wrong, this is no unintentional laugh riot like "Manos: the hands of fate."

Ralphie said...

Star Wars Episodes 1,2,3

Anonymous said...

Ditto on Star Wars Episodes 1 and 2. Couldn't make myself watch 3 after the prior two experiences.

Anonymous said...

Just in the last year, "The Ring 2" and "Land of the Dead" stand out. I'm not sure what I was watching in those cases, but my nephew concocts better plots when playing with his Star Wars toys.

Christ, how I hated those two movies.

Anonymous said...

I'm always one for naming the critics' darlings that I hate. HATE. A few:

Seconding Anony, 10:46am -- Contact. Dear God. Having to stare at Jodie Foster's teary, quivery face while she whispers, "It's beautiful, it's beautiful..." I wanted to punch her.

Run Lola Run. Oh, hooray, a German can ape Tarantino-ish crap. Speaking of which...

Kill Bill. Oh, hooray, Tarantino can pretend he's 13.

The Usual Suspects. I know this appeared on a couple Top 10 lists here, but I'm sorry. Noir posing and crappy dialogue leading up to a crime-writers' convention ending do not a top-10 movie make.

You Got Mail. Someone punch Nora Ephron. (Side note: So, the big point in the first couple acts -- and abandoned without a trace so Tom and Meg can hook -- is that jumbo chains crowd out the good-guy boutiques, right? But either Hanks or Ryan appear inside a damn STARBUCKS every couple of frames! Are you kidding me?!) Maybe not a critics' darling, but I just had to get that off my chest.

Lost in Translation. A misanthropic Bill Murray and snotty Scarlet Johannson mope around Tokyo and condescend to Japanese. Hooray.

Rashomon. Wow, superb insight: people don't tell the truth and don't remember things the way they actually happened. The only time people aren't sitting around jabbering, they're screaming and jumping around with swords.

Annalucia said...

A Canadian movie from 1972 or thereabouts called ``The Reincarnate''; incomprehensible plot and wooden acting. The audience cheered at the sight of a streetcar traveling along Queen Street - didn't take much to get Toronto audiences excited in those days. Maybe it still doesn't.

The other was``Backdraft.''

Both of these movies were anti-masterpieces of tedium - heavy and dull, dull, dull.

Anonymous said...

"Bobby Deerfield," starring Al Pacino and directed by Sydney Pollack. This is a very bad movie. Here is a fairly typical Amazon review, from "A Viewer:"

"How do people come to understand each other in a new relationship and overcome the obstacles that are largely their own creation? One of the two knows something and is trying to help the other go beyond his limitations so they can be together on the terms she is compelled to follow. Their struggle and the beautiful European countryside settings made this an engrossing and rewarding experience for me. I also enjoyed the feel of the "culture of Europe." Also, I don't believe I saw anyone shot. or a gun at all"

That Dude said...

"The Warriors -- a bunch of street thugs break out of Vidal Sassoon's salon and fight it out on the subway"

You will now turn into a pillar of salt.

miklos rosza said...

The Ring 2 and Kill Bill are two very very bad films I saw this year.

Ring 2 has unexplained, inexplicable deer attacks out of nowhere (deer?) and Kill Bill offers virtually no dialog and a 40 minute fight scene during which Uma Thurman kills 88 choreographed Japanese. This gets very pretty old after about 25.

Anonymous said...

The Piano. Hated, hated HATED it!!
Critics loved it - said it had deep feminist meaning. All I say is, Harvey Keitel, put your clothes back on now!!!

jk said...

Movies that are just bad or stupid are one thing but I agree the real bad movies are the pretentious, soi-disant important films:

1) Prince of Tides (like a three-hour episode of M*A*S*H)
2) American Beauty (clich├ęs + ebophilia, swell)

Red said...

I heard there's some "good" midget porn out there. I sure as heck ain't seen any.

Jon said...


Highlander II;

Shaka (the one about the angry monkey that chases Roddy McDowell);

City Heat

The whatever whatever of David Gale

Stuart Buck said...

The Order. Heath Ledger as a traditionalist Catholic priest (pause for laughter here) who, for no apparent reason, starts traveling with a young woman (who once tried to kill him) and then turns into a "sin-eater" who is dedicated to undermining the church.


Godsend. No words to describe how awful this one was.